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TAMU-CC hosts education expo amid teacher shortage

Posted at 11:42 AM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 12:42:21-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dozens of school districts from across the state are boosting their recruitment efforts.

TAMU-CC held an education career fair, giving education students an opportunity to meet with employers. This event had 84 districts — including several from out of state -- in attendance Wednesday.

With less than six months away from the start of a new academic year, school districts stepping up their recruitment efforts said TAMU-CC Director of Career and Professional Development Center Leslie Mills.

"The number of school districts that are in attendance today definitely speaks to our need across the state for teachers," Mills said.

Recruiters are hoping to fill an unprecedented number of teacher vacancies by offering competitive salaries and sign up bonuses among other incentives. Dallas ISD Recruitment and Selection Coordinator David Colunga said mentorship is a key component in achieving success.

"Mentorship is really important because they're fresh out of college but they have someone to help them and guide them throughout the first year," he said.

Some school officials said it's been difficult to attract and retain teachers, particularly in rural areas.

Skidmore-Tynan ISD Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Ashworth said future educators should consider taking a job in smaller communities.

"We've really tried hard at our teacher pay scale trying to get that up, competitive with our neighbors," she said. "An advantage of coming and working for a rural school district is that you're going to have small class sizes."

Students were not only able to connect with employers, hiring managers were also conducting interviews and making offers on site. Interdisciplinary Studies major Elizabeth Kelley said she can't wait to start teaching.

"Be someone they can look up to for help and just add value to the community wherever I am," Kelley said.